One of the largest wildfires in Los Angeles County history is threatening more than 1,000 homes in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of the city.
Known at the Bobcat Fire, the blaze has consumed more than 170 square miles since it began Sept. 6. The cause is being investigated.
It has burned at least 29 structures, and officials said the number could be as high as 85 when damage assessment teams are able to reach the area.
Most of the structures were in the Antelope Valley communities of Cima Mesa, Juniper Hills, Pearblossom and Devil’s Punchbowl, the Los Angeles Times reported.
On Tuesday, officials said the fire was pushing hard toward Mount Wilson, home to the Mount Wilson Observatory and what was said to be $1 billion worth of television and radio transmission towers, according to the L.A. Times.
The Bobcat Fire was only 38% contained Wednesday morning. It isn’t expected to be fully contained until Oct. 30.
#BobcatFire containment more than doubled to 38%, thanks to days of strenuous fireline construction by firefighters working in challenging conditions. Night crews completed critical strategic firing to link containment line from Mt Wilson to HWY 2. https://t.co/APSrKsa0Vn @LACoFD pic.twitter.com/xvusW4zpuX— Angeles_NF (@Angeles_NF) September 23, 2020
The Bobcat Fire has grown more than 56 square miles since Friday, pushed along by gusty winds and fueled by dry vegetation that hasn’t burned in years. The National Weather Service said warm and dry conditions were expected to continue in the area on Tuesday.
Southern California is also forecast to see another heat wave early next week, which could worsen fire conditions.
About 4,000 people from 1,100 homes have been ordered to evacuate, fire officials said. Residents of Pasadena and the communities of Altadena and Wrightwood have been warned to be ready to flee if the fire approaches them.
Extreme Fire-Nado (not an official term) convection winds created this throwing rocks and ash all around as it swept across Big Pines Hwy just now. Please contact for licensing any content. #BOBCATFIRE pic.twitter.com/gcvUVMSq8y— SoCalFirePhoto (@SoCalFirePhoto) September 19, 2020
The largest blaze in Los Angeles County history was the Station Fire, which burned 250 square miles in the Angeles National Forest in 2009. It killed two firefighters and destroyed more than 200 structures.
The Bobcat Fire was one of 27 major wildfires burning across California on Tuesday, according to the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Since mid-August, the fires have killed 26 people and destroyed more than 6,500 structures, Cal Fire said. The blazes have consumed more than 5,625 square miles.